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28/08/2016 11:00
Belgium coach to give clues to baby’s name following opening victory
2016 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship - Women

Nitra, Slovakia, August 28, 2016. They may have spent four years together as coach and captain but it does not mean that Belgium skipper Charlotte Coppin will get the chance to name her coach’s baby.

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Belgium coach Fien Callens is six months pregnant with her first child and Coppin revealed that Callens promised that she would disclose how many letters long the baby’s name would be, should they win their first match of the 2016 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship - Women.

Belgium did win their first match of the tournament by beating Croatia 3-2 in Nitra, Slovakia on Saturday, so now it is set to be a guessing game for her and the rest of the squad as to the identity of the baby. The relationship between Coppin and her coach, Callens, a former beach volleyballer and married with Dries Koekelkoren, goes back four years as the two have progressed through the age groups alongside one another as coach and player.

“Four years ago I went to the volleyball school in Belgium and started training every day,” Coppin said. “ We had a team and we started training everyday as we worked on power and ball work. We finished third in another European Championship [the U18 competition held last year in Bulgaria] so it was good. After that it just went better and better. I worked with my coach for four years and we have a really good relationship. I know what she means when she says things and you know what she wants in the game.”

With Callens maybe not as active as she could be, are there any extra responsibilities for her captain? “I don’t do any extra tasks now that she is pregnant,” Coppin laughs. “But she said if we won this game she would tell us how many letters would be in the baby’s name so we could try and guess. I don’t think it will be Charlotte because she wants a short name.”

It is easy to see that Belgium are a tight group. There is clearly a great spirit among the group and Coppin explained how important it is. “We do everything together and anything we do is together, whether it is going for a walk or eating dinner,” she added.

“We’re a very close team and very enthusiastic which is important to be a good team. There are a few jokers in the team and I think one of our liberos, Anna Valkenborg, is one of the funniest. She is always sorting out the music for the team and making it loud.”

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